publication date: Jan. 18, 2019

Guest Editorial

Waun Ki Hong– A Career of Vision

James L. Abbruzzese

James L. Abbruzzese

Duke Cancer Institute Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology

Chief, Division of Medical Oncology

Associate director for Clinical Research, Duke Cancer Institute


On Jan. 2, my friend and long-time mentor Waun Ki Hong passed away. In thinking about what Ki did for me personally and the impact he had on the lives and professional careers of so many people, I pulled out a speech I gave at his retirement celebration at MD Anderson on Aug. 15, 2014. I was struck that even in his passing so many of my thoughts ring true today. Perhaps this will give readers of The Cancer Letter a sense of the man.

I first came to know Dr. Hong in 1983 after he recruited me to the Boston University School of Medicine/Boston VA upon completion of my medical oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Hong moved to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, where, as you know, he has had an amazing tenure, stimulating the career trajectories of numerous physicians and scientists and disseminating his passion and enthusiasm for cancer science throughout the institution, thereby changing it forever.

I did not at first accompany Dr. Hong to Houston (is that below the Mason-Dixon line?) and joined … Continue reading Waun Ki Hong– A Career of Vision

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